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Background: Coherent manipulation of electron spins at magnetic fields above 7 T (frequencies above 200 GHz) is required for investigations of decoherence in potential quantum bits, excitations of strongly-correlated spin systems, spintronics, and the structure and dynamics of biological macromolecules. However, with current technology, it is exceedingly difficult to generate the sequences of high-power sub-THz pulses that are required for these studies. By “slicing” a sequence of pulses from the ~kW output of UCSB’s MM-wave Free-Electron Laser, we have made significant progress towards filling this technological gap, and have demonstrated the world’s first FEL-powered electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectrometer at 240 GHz. The existing “pulse slicer” uses high-power doubled Nd:YAG lasers to drive Si wafers from the insulating (transmissive) state to the conducting (reflective) state. It occupies two optical tables and is not easily reproduced.
The project: In collaboration with Bridge12, a small company in the Boston area, we have recently been funded to develop a “compact pulse slicer for high-power sub-millimeter waves.” The goal is to leverage advances in inexpensive solid-state laser and semiconductor wafer-bonding technologies to demonstrate a pulse slicer that can eventually be commercialized and deployed for use with existing submillimeter wave sources called gyrotrons to enable pulsed EPR and pulsed dynamic nuclear polarization. The team includes highly-experienced Ph. D. level scientists at UCSB, Bridge12, in the ThorLabs Crystalline Mirror Coatings division.
The job: The successful post-doc will, in close collaboration with the team, develop the optics and electronics for both reflective and transmissive elements of the compact pulse slicer, model the carrier dynamics in the semiconductor switches, perform pulse slicing experiments, and compare performance with theoretical predictions. With the pulse slicer they develop, the post-doc will be encouraged to pursue a scientific direction they are interested in within the broad range of topics under investigation in the Sherwin group. After completion of the post-doctoral job, the post-doc will be well positioned for a wide range of career options, including in academia, industry, and government labs.
Requirements: Applicants must have a Ph. D. in Physics, Applied Physics, Materials, Electrical Engineering, Physical Chemistry, or a related field of science or engineering at the time of application. Experience with developing scientific instrumentation, numerical modeling of physical phenomena, and one or more of the methodologies used in this project (for example, optics, lasers, semiconductors, microwaves, magnetic resonance) is preferred.